Prepare to paint: tips for success

What’s the worst thing about painting your home? Is it the picky preparation, doing the trim, that dreaded second coat, or even just picking a colour?

Let’s face it, painting isn’t a fun job for most of us, and if you add disappointing results to the mix, you have a recipe for a minor home renovation that can haunt you for years.

If you are painting your own home, remember that a little bit of planning pays off in this tiresome task. The experts offer some basic tips that will ensure a smooth, neat job, unless you’re the type that steps into the paint can on the way down from the ladder.

Preparation tips:

  1. Remove all flaking or peeling paint from the surface you are painting.
  2. Use bleach to kill any mildew and prevent it from returning under your new paint.
  3. Use shellac to seal water stains, which will bleed through latex paint.
  4. Remove wall items like electrical plates rather than masking them.
  5. Tie garbage bags over fixtures like chandeliers.
  6. Mask windows and glass with newspaper.
  7. Line roller trays with a plastic garbage bag.
  8. Put the paint can inside a cardboard box when mixing to prevent spattering.
  9. Put smaller litre sized paint cans inside an empty four-litre can, to prevent spills.
  10. Buy lots of drop cloths, and make newspaper pathways through your house so you won’t track paint down the halls.
  11. Buy good masking tape, at least an inch wide, and remove it as soon as your paint has set.
  12. Put paintbrushes, rollers and trays inside a garbage bag to keep them from drying out overnight.

If you do decide to forgo all this effort, hire a pro recommended by friends or neighbours. They have many other tricks and tips, not to mention valuable experience.